Have you ever realized the importance of something when you don’t have it anymore? Sometimes we take the simplest aspects of life for granted such as memory and thinking skills – it’s human nature. These natural abilities are required to do simple daily tasks, but as with everything, aging can lead to the loss of these abilities.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. Take this time to learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease, stimulating activities that can help, and how Medicare can play a role in the detection of Alzheimer’s.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that affects and slows memory and thinking skills. It is the most common presentation of dementia in older adults. Alzheimer’s can initially present as memory loss, but over time the symptoms can worsen to the point where it affects the patient’s holistic ability to function, both cognitively and physically.

What Should I Know About Alzheimer’s Disease?

  • In the US, about 5 million adults suffer from Alzheimer’s disease
  • The biggest risk factor is aging, but genetics can play a role in developing Alzheimer’s as well
  • Symptoms generally appear in the mid-60s in late-onset Alzheimer’s
  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s is rare (affects 30-60-year old’s)
  • Continuously keeping your brain well-exercised throughout your life through challenging activities (classes, education, puzzles, etc.) is thought to help prevent Alzheimer’s
  • Experts say some cardiovascular diseases increase the risk of developing dementia
  • There is some data to suggest that people who socialize on a regular basis and have a good support system have a lower risk of developing dementia

What Activities Can I Do to Stay Engaged and Active?

Below is a list of some engaging and stimulating activities that can help to maintain interests and good relationships to live an overall better life with Alzheimer’s.

  • Painting helps by allowing you to creatively express yourself simply with some paints and a piece of paper. Coloring, crayons, or markers can also be utilized.
  • Crafts can help you express yourself while exercising creativity with a variety of different projects. These crafts can be simple and small like putting pieces of paper together, knitting, scrapbooking, etc.
  • Gardening can help you be one with nature, stay calm, and to get some fresh air. Remember to try not to lift heavy items and be careful (understand the limitations of your body).
  • Cooking or baking are activities known to be therapeutic and can definitely help older adults with Alzheimer’s.
  • Cleaning or organizing can feel like you’re putting together a small puzzle and can feel extremely fulfilling to organize or clean some spaces.
  • Listening to music or singing: Some data shows music therapy can help to soothe, calm, and improve your mood. Listen to your favorite song and sing along to have a calm and fun time.

How Can Medicare Help to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease?

Medicare allows any person who has had Part B for longer than 12 months to receive an Annual Wellness Visit. This check can help to either develop or update a personalized plan to prevent Alzheimer’s disease based on personal health and risk factors.

To learn more about Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visits, read the ‘Medicare and You’ handbook.

The Bottom Line on Alzheimer’s Disease

Our memory and thinking skills are essential in our daily lives, and with Alzheimer’s disease, unfortunately, these abilities decline over time. Living with Alzheimer’s disease or taking care of someone who has Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging and complicated. It is essential to learn about Alzheimer’s, do engaging activities with loved ones to live a good life, and take advantage of your Annual Wellness Visit provided by Medicare Part B.

If you have any questions regarding Medicare benefits for Alzheimer’s Disease, feel free to fill out the form or give us a call to speak with our licensed insurance brokers today.